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Carne acknowledges planning flaws in Great Western electrification

Network Rail Chief Executive Mark Carne says that planning of the Great Western Route Modernisation (GWRM) would take longer if it were being done again - in order to spend less time on construction.

Speaking at the Public Accounts Committee hearing into the Great Western Railway on December 14, Carne said: “If I could have my time all over again, and we were doing this project again, I would take even longer over the early phases of it, so that we could spend less time on the construction period.

“As the NAO report makes clear, the early stages of this project were not carried out in an appropriate way. The initial design was incomplete. The cost estimating was not good enough for the project. We started construction on this project before we had the permits and the consents, because we had to in order to try to meet the schedule. 

“If I had my time again, I would take longer over the early phases of a project of this magnitude and scale, so that you got it right. Probably the No. 1 lesson that any project manager anywhere in the world will reiterate is: ‘Get it right at the beginning and then you have a good chance of delivering it.’”

  • For much more on this, read RAIL 817, published on January 4. 

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